A rise in the number of reported floods in the UK over the past 129 years can mainly be explained by increased exposure, resulting from urban expansion and population growth, according to new research by the University of Southampton. In one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, scientists have discovered that although the number of reported floods has gone up during the 20th and 21st Century, this trend disappears when the figures are adjusted to reflect population growth and increased building numbers over the same period. --Phys.org, 19 August 2014
The increase in flooding in Britain is due to urban expansion and population growth rather than climate change, a study suggests. Derek Clarke, a lecturer in civil engineering at the University of Southampton and co-author of the study, ruled out a link between last winter’s devastating floods and climate change. However, the Met Office does not agree, and Dame Julia Slingo, its chief scientist, said “all the evidence suggests there is a link” with global warming. --Hannah Devlin, The Times, 19 August 2014
Over at Slate.com, Eric Holthaus kindly points us in the direction of the year-to-date U.S. climate extremes index (YTD-CEI). Then he states the following:
The U.S. Climate Extremes Index (which is maintained by NOAA) says January-July 2014 was the seventh most extreme on record. That index factors in things like drought, extreme temperatures, and flooding. If you look at the chart, you can see the frequency and severity of extreme weather events have been steadily increasing for decades.
Here is the chart Holthaus is referring to:
When Al-Jazeera bought Current TV for $500 million in January 2013, former Vice President Al Gore, who co-founded Current, praised the deal. Both Al-Jazeera, a network owned by Qatar's oil-rich royal family, and his far-left Current TV, Gore said, were founded “to give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling.”
Last week, Gore and Current TV shareholders sued Al-Jazeera for fraud because, Gore attorney David Boies told reporters, “Al-Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago.”
The dispute raises the question: Can oil and sanctimony mix?
Between 1989 and 2010, Congress rejected nearly 700 cap-tax-and-trade and similar bills that their proponents claimed would control Earth’s perpetually fickle climate and weather. So even as real world crises erupt, President Obama is using executive fiats and regulations to impose his anti-hydrocarbon agenda, slash America’s fossil fuel use, bankrupt coal and utility companies, make electricity prices skyrocket, and “fundamentally transform” our economic, social, legal and constitutional system.
Citing climate concerns, he has refused to permit construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and blocked or delayed Alaskan, western state and offshore oil and gas leasing and drilling. He’s proud that US oil production has climbed 58% and natural gas output has risen 21% since 2008. But he doesn’t mention that this is due to hydraulic fracturing on state and private lands; production has actually fallen in areas controlled by the federal government, and radical environmentalists oppose fracking all over the USA.
At the moment, the space climate is undergoing an extremely interesting phase. Now a 100-year period of heightened solar activity is coming to an end. The reason behind the fluctuation in solar activity is not yet known. One hypothesis is that these long solar cycles are caused by the gravity forces of the planets in the solar system. However, the current knowledge does not support this hypothesis. --Juha Merimaa, Helsinki Times, 18 August 2014
Climate-change science is “settled,” say proponents of anthropogenic (human-induced) global warming, or AGW: the earth is getting warmer, and human activities are the reason. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up by the United Nations in 1988, has issued five assessment reports since its founding. In its most recent, in 2013, the IPCC stated that it was now “95 to 100 percent certain” that human activities—especially fossil-fuel emissions—are the primary drivers of planetary warming. Frequent news reports—such as the story of the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, a process that some scientists say is irreversible—seemingly confirm these conclusions.
And yet, highly credentialed scientists, including Nobel Prize–winning physicist Ivar Giaever, reject what is often called the “climate consensus.” Giaever resigned from the American Physical Society in protest of the group’s statement that evidence of global warming was “incontrovertible” and that governments needed to move immediately to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. Sixteen distinguished scientists signed a 2012 Wall Street Journal article, in which they argued that taking drastic action to “decarbonize” the world’s economy—an effort that would have major effects on economic growth and quality of life, especially in the developing world—was not justified by observable scientific evidence. And, like Giaever, they objected to the notion of a climate consensus—and to the unscientific shutting down of inquiry and the marginalization of dissenters as “heretics.” Most recently, renowned climate scientist Lennart Bengtsson stepped down from his post at a climate-skeptic think tank after he received hundreds of angry e-mails from scientists. He called the pressure “virtually unbearable.”
Billionaire hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer attempted to explain why there is still a sizable portion of Americans that do not buy in to global warming alarmism by, basically, generalizing virtually all of America as not “super sophisticated.”
Speaking at a climate conference hosted by the American Renewable Energy Institute, Steyer said:
“I think if you were to go around to most of the — what I would think of as super-sophisticated people who think about politics and policy more than five minutes a month — we are doing really well.”
I suspect most readers of my column do not religiously read The Atlantic. I don’t either. But I have people—readers who alert me to news and information I might not see otherwise. Though The Atlantic has gained recent notoriety for the interview with Hilary Clinton, in which she says: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” there is more to it. With so much focus on the Clinton quote, it would be easy to overlook an article within the September issue: How to Talk About Climate Change So People Will Listen.
While I don’t think the author of the nine-page article, Charles C. Mann, ever really offers the answers the title posits, and is seven pages in before he even attempts to advise the reader on the premise, he does offer some noteworthy insights.
Bitter Arctic winds could plunge parts of Britain into the coldest spell of August weather for almost a century.
Thermometers are set to plummet as a stubborn band of low pressure drags air in from the north - with two weeks of wet, windy and cold weather on the horizon.
There is even a chance of snow and sleet over the mountains of Scotland as it dips to near freezing overnight.
Government figures show the last time it was this cold in August was in 1919 when the mercury rose no higher than 8.9C for four days in Yorkshire and Cumbria.
Hillary Clinton has come under fire this summer for her speaking fees, including some charged for events at universities and colleges where many students put themselves deep in debt to get their education. Clinton and her defenders insist that those fees get paid out by donors, not the schools themselves, and that some of those fees get donated to the Clintons’ charitable foundation rather than into her pocket. Those pockets get a pretty cushy ride back and forth to these events, though, as the contract for her UNLV speech uncovered by the Las Vegas Review-Journal details:
According to a May 31, 2013 email, Clinton’s standard contract usually includes:
■ Round-trip transportation on a chartered private jet “e.g., a Gulfstream 450 or larger jet,” plus round-trip business class travel for two advance staffers who will arrive up to three days in advance.
The climate change debate rages, beginning with physical science and continuing with economic analysis and government policy.
The good news is that the balance of evidence continues to point toward modest warming scenarios, not catastrophic ones, from the human influence on global climate.
This would seem to be good news.
But now, some climate activists are going to extreme measures to attack our energy renaissance, analogizing that opposition to pricing carbon dioxide is akin to benefitting from slavery. “Burning fossil fuels is an ethical problem,” said former EPA official Wes Wilson. “Slavery had a lot of economic benefits, but it had an ethical problem.”
The 96 years of measuring the water levels of the Great Lakes done by the Army Corps of Engineers represents a relative sliver of time compared to the thousands of years prior to 1918 when no one was keeping track of these levels. Nonetheless, in recent years global warming adherents were citing low water levels on the Great Lakes as evidence of global warming.
Now that Great Lakes levels are no longer low, they are seizing on the recent wet weather in southeast Michigan to advance their arguments.
The 4.7 inches of rain that swamped Detroit on Aug. 11 was the second highest daily rainfall for the city since the Army Corps of Engineers started keeping records in 1918. The highest daily rainfall on record for Detroit is 4.74 inches on July 31, 1925.